Published: Nov 05, 2010 12:15 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 05, 2010 9:15 AM EDT

NEW YORK, New York - After being trapped underground for 69 days in that mine in Chile, Miner Edison Pena is making the most of life above ground. He's on a whirlwind tour of the US that includes visiting Graceland and running the New York City marathon. Pena seemed stunned at the hero's welcome he received in New York.

Just three weeks since he was freed from the mine and he's ready to run the New York City marathon. Trapped underground for more than two months, Pena says he ran to pass the time and to control his anxiety twice a day, six or seven miles along a 1000-yard dark and muddy path in stifling heat.

He cut his steel toe boots down to the ankle.

"I was going to beat destiny. I was saying to that mine that I'm going to outrun you," said Pena.

New York organizers of Sunday's marathon invited Pena to come and watch the 26.2 mile race but they were surprised when he asked to run.

"I wanted to show the world I could run it and yes we can," said Pena.

Pena also loves Elvis and he would impersonate the king to cheer up his 32 fellow trapped miners.

The 34-year old says he and his fellow minters are not heroes. It's just what destiny had in store for them.

He says he ran every day to show God he wanted to live.